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Introducing La Digue

Remember that tropical paradise that appears in countless adverts and glossy travel brochures? Here it's the real thing, with jade-green waters, bewitching bays studded with heart-palpitatingly gorgeous beaches, and green hills cloaked with tangled jungle and tall trees. As if that wasn't enough, La Digue is ideally situated as a springboard to surrounding islands, including Félicité, Grande Sœur and the fairytale Île Cocos.

Despite its lush beauty, La Digue has managed to escape the somewhat rampant tourist development that affects Mahé and Praslin. Sure, it's certainly not undiscovered, but La Digue has a more laid-back feel than the other main islands, with only a few surfaced roads and virtually no cars, just the odd ox cart. The place is definitely more of a back-to-nature than a jet-set-tourist kind of haven, making it possible to find that deserted anse (bay) where you really feel like you've been stranded in paradise.

Transport to La Digue is absurdly easy. It's only about 5km from Praslin, and getting by boat from one island to the other is simplicity itself, so you've no excuse not to spend a day or two at the very least on this island.

If money's a factor, La Digue has a growing number of quaint family guesthouses and self-catering apartments in which to rest your head.